Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Jack Guerry


Canadian composer Violet Archer has made contributions to virtually every genre of musical composition. Her avid interest in orchestral music manifests itself in the large number of instrumental works she has composed, and her love of setting poetry and scripture can be seen in her music for voice and chorus. The works for solo piano span the entire length of her career and represent a significant portion of her total output. Aside from a scant number of brief analytical sketches of various pieces in periodicals and biographical sections of books, there is no comprehensive study of Archer's music for piano. In recent years, most of Archer's compositional attention has been focused on what she terms "educational music." This monograph examines selected elementary and intermediate didactic works for solo piano. Included in the study are two collections, Here and Now (1996), and Four Bagatelles (1979), and the three-movement Sonatina No. 3 (1979). Chapter 1 includes biographical information and a brief overview of Archer's compositional style. The second chapter is an examination of the three works, with emphasis on basic characteristics of the composer's style--namely: expression, idiomatic keyboard writing, and 20th-century compositional devices. The study concludes with a summary of the educational importance of the specific works examined in Chapter 2 and Violet Archer's contributions to pedagogical repertoire.